A sexual minority is a group whose sexual identity, orientation or practices differ from the majority of the surrounding society. The term was coined (most likely in the late 1960s or early 1970s) as analogous to ethnic minority.
Initially the term referred primarily to lesbians and gays, bisexuals and transgender people. These four categories (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) are often grouped together under the rubric LGBT.
Others referred to as "sexual minorities" include fetishists and practitioners in of bondage and discipline, domination & submission, and/or sadomasochism (collectively referred to as BDSM). The term may also include asexuals and people who may be strictly heterosexual and whose choice of actual sex acts may be vanilla, but whose choice of partner or partners is unusual, such as swingers, polyamorists or people in other nonmonogamous relationships, or people who strongly prefer sex partners of a disparate age.
Usually, the term sexual minority is applied only to groups who practice consensual sex: for example, it would be unusual to refer to rapists as a sexual minority, but the term would generally include someone whose sexuality gave a major, fetishized role to consensual playing out of a rape fantasy. Also, someone who very occasionally incorporates of kink or same-sex activity into a largely vanilla, heterosexual sex life would not usually be described as a sexual minority.
Some LGBT people object to using the term sexual minorities in relation to them, and prefer the term LGBT. Reasons for these objections may vary. For example, some LGBT people feel that the term sexual minority needlessly reminds them about discrimination and about being a minority. They don't want to be a distinct "minority", but an integral and respectable part of the society. Some other LGBT people dislike the term for being too inclusive, including swingers, polyamorists, BDSM people and other perceived "sexual strangers". These LGBT people want to make a larger distance between these sexual practices and bisexuality/homosexuality/transgender.
Some transsexual or transgender people dislike the term sexual minority for yet another reason. They argue that the phenomenon of transsexuality or transgender has nothing to do with sex, sexual practices or sexual orientation, but relates to the gender, gender dysphoria and gender-variant behavior or feelings. Thus, they feel it is incorrect to classify them as "sexual minority", when, in fact, they are gender-variant minority.
Some conservative groups oppose the use of the term sexual minority for completely different reason. They think or feel that the term inherently implies some degree of legalisation or protection for those engaged in such sexual practices, much like ethnic minorities are protected from being discriminated or persecuted in modern democratic countries. These groups prefer to call people, who claim to belong to sexual minorities, deviant or pervert.
This article is based on "Sexual minority" from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org). It is licensed under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation Licencse. In the Wikipedia you can find a list of the authors by visiting the following address: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Sexual+minority&action=history